The Chicago Cubs and President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein reportedly agreed to a long-term contract extension Wednesday. 

Bruce Levine of 670 The Score and Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reported Epstein’s new deal with the Cubs is for five years.      

USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale reported the deal is expected to be worth more than $50 million. 

Epstein, 42, joined the Cubs after the 2011 season and has promptly built a World Series contender, largely through a combination of smart drafting and savvy moves in free agency. The team made the postseason in 2015, ending a six-year playoff drought, though it lost to the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series.

The Cubs got off to a strong start in 2016, going 17-5 in April, and are the only MLB team to win at least 100 games this season. They won the NL Central for the first time since 2008. 

Before joining the Cubs, Epstein spent 10 seasons as the Boston Red Sox general manager, helping build two championship rosters (2004, 2007) and ending the team’s title drought that dated back to 1918.

The Cubs are hoping he can build the team that finally ends their title drought that dates back even further, to 1908.

While Epstein knows expectations are high in Chicago, he’s trying to keep everything in perspective, as he told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune:

The expectations thing, I know it can kind of create this subtext that hangs over the club with every two-game losing streak or every game that goes wrong or every injury. People try to put it in context that the ultimate goal is the World Series.

But the reality is that’s not how we feel internally. We know it’s a grind. We know it’s a process. We know what we’re shooting for. We’re here to win the World Series. But you don’t think about that on a daily basis. You think about the challenges the game presents, how you can overcome those and coming together as a team and as an organization and working your tail off to move forward and progress. That’s what drives us.

In the end, if you don’t win the World Series, you’re very disappointed. If you do, it’s worthwhile because you focused on the journey.

Without question, Epstein is one of the top executives in baseball and has worked wonders with the Cubs in his time at the organization. Locking him up for the long haul was a smart move from the team, as Epstein will continue building around the team’s established superstars, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, along with one of baseball’s strongest supporting casts.

Ultimately, the Lovable Losers are hoping Epstein can help them shed that old nickname altogether.


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